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Muthurwa: Where Mututho laws are an alien concept

A recent directive by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse boss John Mututho restricting the sale of alcohol before designated hours appears to have landed on deaf ears.

Liquor-imbibing city residents are getting intoxicated well past the legal drinking hours.

At Muthurwa market, for instance, it is not unusual to meet young men staggering on their way home at 6am.

Some have torn clothes while others can be seen lying dead drunk next to pubs or on pavements, a clear indication of drinking the whole night or that the pubs they were in closed late.

Traders in the area are now urging the national and county governments to come up with working solutions to the drinking problem.

They say drinking has affected productivity.

“We are weary of drunken men lying at bus terminals and road pavements everyday doing nothing,” said Irene Mueni, a hotel owner at Wakulima Market.

She said some of these men could be petty thieves and idlers.

“They pretend to be touts and swindle unsuspecting passengers and traders in the area,” she said.

“That is why they devote the little money they make to alcohol in order to stay woozy, as their business involves yelling,” she added.

Anthony Njeru, who roasts maize,  is more worried about these men’s families.

“I wonder what their families think of them, especially when they spend their day out only to refuse to appear home,” he said.

According to Njeru, lack of apt implementation of the Mututho Law has seen the situation deteriorate as even those who participate in selling the alcohol are not brought to book.

It is alleged that some wine and spirit joints in the area operate behind closed doors during the day, serving offhand men and women. Residents accuse law enforcement agents of looking the other way when that is happening.

The law says bars should open from 5pm to 11pm on weekdays and 2pm to 11pm on weekends. It prohibits alcohol sale outside this time. Mr Mututho has threatened to take action on officers reluctant in enforcing the order. ,